Guiding Your Kids Through Their Worries and Anxieties

Kids have little worries and big worries. Sometimes these worries, like monsters under the bed, seem ridiculous to adults but are very real for children.

When kids get too caught up in their anxiety, they miss out on activities and can be miserable. If your child has a lot of worries, check out Dr. Larry Cohen's book, The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears. It's filled with stories and practical advice for guiding your children through their worry jungle and out to the field of safety where they can have fun.

In her Amazon review of the book, one Mom explained how she tried out the Stop/Go method. "Basically a game, you and your child are engaged in a 'stopping and going' activity---with your child being the one 'in charge'. I tried it out the next morning when brushing my seven year old daughter's hair...and I am still in shock with the results! As long as she has had hair, brushing has been an absolute nightmare, each and every morning. I always knew it was rooted in anxiety, but wondered if there were some other issues too because her reactions/screams/crying were so intense. Anyway, tried Stop/Go the other morning (which literally took 15 seconds) and she was laughing and begging me to keep brushing!!!!"

6-Week Online Parenting Class - Start Today!

Parenting is a dance you do with your kids. If you don't like their moves, take this class and learn how to change your lead!

Discover your children's strengths and increase their competence

Aim for high expectations based on your children's developmental level

Notice misbehavior and respond with reasonable, valuable consequences

Control your reaction to stressful parenting situations

Enjoy your children and take time to renew yourself
parents dancing with little daughter

Priceless Parenting classes are grounded on decades of positive parenting experiences from real life situations and backed by the latest scientific research in child development. The DANCE Parenting Class combines the powerful online parenting classes and written questions/answers with the class author, Kathy Slattengren, M.Ed.

Space is limited. Register today for one of these classes.

Register now for $149!

Yes! I want to join this parenting class. I understand that I will get:
  • 11 audio/video parenting lessons over 6 weeks starting immediately
  • Written interaction with the instructor, Kathy Slattengren, on each lesson
  • Ability to schedule a 20 minute private call with Kathy Slattengren
  • PDF copy of the book How to Parent In Ways That Are Truly Helpful, Not Hurtful
  • Certificate of Completion for a 6-week class upon finishing the course and filling out a questionnaire
  • Permission to share this course with my spouse or partner
Learn more and register for one of these classes:

I hope you are able to join me!

     Kathy Slattengren, M. Ed.
     President, Priceless Parenting

P.S. If you know someone who might enjoy taking this class, please do me a favor and share this with them.

One Child's Experience of Autism

What is really going on in the mind of an autistic child? Often the autistic child's behavior is puzzling even to the child's parents and can be extremely difficult to handle. The seriously limited ability for an autistic child to communicate makes understanding the child even more challenging.

Naoki Higashida, a 13-year-old Japanese boy with autism, learned to express himself through writing with the help of a computer. His book, The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism, provides an amazing window into his world. He answers a variety of questions including "Why do you ask the same questions over and over?" and "What's the reason you jump?"

His answers reveal a great depth of understanding and self-awareness. His brilliance is locked in a body that doesn't respond to his commands the way most people's bodies respond.

Although he’s autistic, some of his answers beautifully apply to all children. When he was asked “Why do you do things you should even when you’ve been told a million times not to?” He responded

“It may look as if we’re being bad out of naughtiness, but honestly, we’re not. When we’re being told off, we feel terrible that yet again we’ve done what we’ve been told not to. But when the chance comes once more, we’ve pretty much forgotten about the last time and we just get carried away yet again. It’s as if something that isn’t us is urging us on.

You must be thinking: “Is he never going to learn?” We know we’re making you sad and upset, but it’s as if we don’t have any say in it, I’m afraid, and that’s the way it is. But please, whatever you do, don’t give up on us. We need your help.”

Successfully Tackling Touchy Topics

How do you feel when you need to talk to your child, your child’s teacher, your spouse or someone else about a touchy topic? Are you excited to address this important issue or do you feel like running in the opposite direction? Most people feel a significant amount of anxiety when they think about addressing a situation which is emotionally charged and opinions differ.

When approaching a difficult conversation you have three basic options:

1. Choose to ignore it and hope the situation magically gets better.
2. Launch head first into the conversation and handle it poorly.
3. Prepare ahead of time and handle the conversation well.

While it would be great if challenging situations got better on their own, since this rarely happens let’s look at how you can prepare to handle the conversation well.

Preparing for the Conversation

You will increase the odds of having a productive conversation if you prepare ahead of time. Begin by considering your motive for having this conversation.

In the book Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, the authors identify three important questions to ask yourself when preparing for a crucial conversation:

(finish reading the article on Priceless Parenting)

How can I get my kids to listen to me?

Do your kids often ignore your requests until you are screaming or threatening them? Are you tired of asking them multiple times to do something?

If so, there’s a solution! You can retrain them to listen the first time by only asking once and then acting. For example, there was a 3-year-old girl in a hotel lobby who ran to the couch, climbed up and started jumping. Her Dad told her “No jumping on the couch!” She continued jumping. Her Mom then told her “Get down!” She still continued jumping.

Soon both parents were yelling and threatening and the girl eventually stopped jumping for a few minutes before going back to the couch and jumping. How frustrating for these parents!

What else could they have done? Ask their daughter once to stop jumping on the couch and when she continued, go immediately over and gently take her off the couch. Give her another option for getting out her energy like “You can jump as much as you want on the floor. Do you think you can jump like a bunny all the way over to that table?”

If you want your kids to listen the first time, you need to act whenever they don’t respond to your first request. Taking action is more involved than just repeating your request but it’s essential if you want your kids to learn to listen the first time.

Sugared Cereal Is Not Healthy For Kids

Did you know that  sugared cereals have more sugar per serving than frosted cakes or donuts? Yikes! Dr. Michael Greger's article, &qu...